Because even if most people who celebrate these near and dear dates enjoy the festivities, that doesn’t mean it’s true for everyone. So while there are some people who try to be more empathetic and happy, there are others who don’t see a reason to do anything special. These people also end up suffering through this part of the year because they feel forced to celebrate something they don’t want to.
Tips for enjoying your family Christmas
Whatever the case may be, as Charles Dickens said, “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” In other words, it’s probably not a good idea to be too excessive during this part of the year. Not too negative or trying to hard to be happier and empathetic for only 20 days out of the year. Because after that…then what?
The truth is that there are plenty of reasons you can find for not enjoying family Christmas. It could be because you argue with family members, because a loved one isn’t there, or just because you might not like this part of the year. But there are ways to get through it, and maybe even have a good time. At least that’s how the psychologist Graci Molines (who we’ll look at farther down) sees it.
Want it to be that way
The first trick is to actually want to have a good time. No matter how much you dislike this part of the year, or how many problems there are in the family, it’s still a good time to enjoy yourself. It’s a time to strengthen bonds and have some fun. That’s why it’s essential to have a good attitude towards these celebrations.
Pick out what’s important from what’s not
When you’re with your family you might feel like arguing over something really tiny. With that attitude, you definitely will. But if you try to be receptive and don’t wait to “pounce” on every meaningless comment and action, you won’t just be giving yourself an opportunity to have a nice time, you’ll be helping everyone else have one too. These people you love are always a good enough reason for not fighting on their own. Because in the end, this is a part of the year where feelings play a big part for the people who do enjoy it and eagerly wait for it to come around.
Focus on the positive side of things
Christmas is a good time to focus on the positive side of things, not the other way around. So if getting together with family seems tedious, try to focus on the things you like most about them. There must be someone you especially care about. There must be some fun times and tender moments you can truly enjoy.
Improve your frame of mind
Drop the glum face and go to family Christmas gatherings with a desire to take part and contribute. You won’t just be making other people happy when you do. It will also help you include yourself and make it harder not to get something out of the celebrations.
Find the empathy inside you
Here it is again…eternal empathy, as necessary as ever. In this case, right in the middle of family Christmas, it’s essential. If you can understand other people’s motivations and put yourself in their place, this time of year will definitely be more manageable for you. Who knows, maybe you’ll even enjoy yourself! The idea is that if you can connect with the feelings coming from the people who enjoy the holidays, it’ll be easier for you to have a good time too.
This is very similar to the last point. But here it’s about remembering that everyone is their own universe and has their own lifestyle. So as hard as it can be sometimes, you absolutely have to respect other people. Hear what they have to say, and even if you don’t agree, at least be respectful towards their thoughts.
Don’t bring up tricky subjects
Lastly, the psychologist we mentioned at the beginning has a really important tip. At family gatherings, where everyone knows each other well, we all know there are subjects that can be uncomfortable. So, especially during Christmas, why bring them up? It’s definitely not the right time to make anyone uncomfortable.
Family Christmas shouldn’t have to be hard for anyone. Whatever the case, use our tips to try and enjoy your time with your family. Plus, these tips aren’t just helpful for getting through this part of the year, they’re also great for any social gathering. Give them a try!